“For the Kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power” (1 Corinthians 4.20). I have been in ministry for over twelve years now, not long by some standards, but long enough to witness the reality of the state of Church. I have seen compromise hailed as something to be proud of, and noticed with each passing year a shift towards worship that is more about ourselves than about our great King. There is a widespread “form of godliness” but a denial of the rich power of God through the gospel of Jesus Christ, nor a reverence of God. But this isn’t a book to complain. I am not raising any new alarms; rather, I seek to see if the Lord would move in the hearts of the younger generation to stand up against the tyranny of our culture and say “enough.” This is not a book per se, or a novel or something that you would pick up to read in one sitting. This is a discipleship tool, and what I propose you do is simply pray about coming along on this journey. It is meant for you to use in conjunction with friends and mentors, and cannot be done without them. It will be difficult, riddled with many temptations to stop and give in, give up, or move towards something else. It will also take time.
Why should I write something like this? Hasn’t there been a host of other things that are similar that are now readily available to the masses? As you will notice as you read and commit to the things discussed, you will see that though the challenges are the same (as they all should be, to learn the word and to grow intimately in relationship to Jesus Christ, giving glory as the main thrust), the methodology is different, and I really have come to appreciate the vital role mentors will play in all of this. This tool is not a book that discusses the Bible itself; it is a motivational weapon to work with a mentor, a close friend, and yourself as you are given “requirements” for each “path.” I have made suggestions at the end of each path on movies to watch and books to read, but as always, watch the movies at your own discretion and according to what either your parents or you convictions hold. I have taken many students through this and have always witnessed amazing growth in their seriousness in approaching Christ, as well as the development of their leadership within the Church itself. I have seen many begin and not finish, but the ones that lasted, were fully prepared to meet the challenges that life throws at us. They are the “game changers” in any ministry that I see and many of them have begun full time ministry in some capacity.
There are six paths in this book along with a final path at the end of the book explaining the role of a mentor. A path is merely a list of requirements that each person will need to accomplish before moving on to the next path. Think of it in terms of a Karate Dojo; each person must learn a series of movements in order to move on to the next belt. And they get harder and harder as time progresses. This is very similar in some regards, and you will be “tested” before you are able to take on the next path. You can, however, “cheat” and just go through the requirements, without a mentor, without someone to help you train, but this would defeat the purpose of the paths, of this discipleship tool, because submitting to those above us is an integral part in all of this.
I have written an explanation of the paths themselves and the reasoning for them in each section, though the first chapter is simply a tool to encourage you on the path itself. If you can resist the temptation, do not run onto reading the next path before you are actually in it, as this will keep you focused on the requirements you are called to do. If you are mentor reading this, I encourage you to read along with your mentee as well as skip ahead to the end. In this first book, as I have mentioned, there are six main paths. I have written on six more, after you are finished with these, but do not worry about that; focus on the task ahead. Above all, I pray that the Lord is glorified in all of this, in your lives, as you seek to submit to him the plans and purpose of your life. Our Christ is King! Oh Lord, raise up a mighty army for you that is known to have a heart bleeding and beating for the King of kings!